Dirty Job

New School in Disrepair

New School president Bob Kerrey says he didn't know the university was in such bad shape when he took the job – and that it may not be the right job for him at all. “I don’t think it’s ungovernable,” Kerrey tells New York magazine, “but it may be. It may be that they need to find somebody else to run this place.” The New School is “Frankensteinian in nature,” says the magazine, a complex system of eight separate schools, including Parsons, the fashion school that’s the set of Project Runway and which provides funding for the undernourished New School. Kerrey’s attempts to unify these parts since he became president in 2001 have not gone over well—he recently received a unanimous vote of no confidence from his faculty, and student protests have led him to solicit the protection of private security guards. Is the former Nebraska senator simply the wrong fit for the freewheeling institution? “Bob gets what’s fucked up about the New School,” says a member of the faculty, “but he doesn’t get what’s special about it, its special anarchy and founding moments. He just sees it as an economic puzzle to be solved.”